Some forty years ago, Mr Firestone began acquiring acreage in Bath Twp., Summit Co. He eventually purchased about 2,000 acres for his estate.
He had the many barns, houses and out buildings removed and replaced them with a manor house, winding horse trails, jumps and fences. He then hosted “English style” fox hunts. Invitees from across the country came for these very formal weekend events. Occasionally they could be seen riding in groups, wearing red velvet hunt coats, knee high black boots and riding “english” saddle, galloping to the sound of the hounds.
One of the farms Firestone acquired stood at the corner of Hametown and Everett Rds. He had the barn removed, but kept the house and two outbuildings. He then rented the house to a succession of Bath police and firemen. It is thought that Mr. Firestone liked the security this added to the north end of his holdings.
With the passing ofÂ Mr. Firestone, the lands wereÂ arranged to goÂ to Ohio State University, which then sold theÂ acreages to a number of interests. Some of the land was developed commercially into upscale housing, a large tract became The Bath Nature Perserve, and some of the land was sold to the Revere School System.
The property on Humphery Rd. went to the schools. The house is still lived in by school employees, but the outbuildings fell to disrepair (most especiallyÂ by the depredations of the local ruffian school lacross teamÂ who practiced on the adjoining sport field).
In the summer of ’10, the larger building was donated to the museum, and moved in one pieceÂ by trailer. This required the kind and helpful assistance of the Richfield Village Police, who closed the roads to traffic as the wide building made its way to its new home. One woman in particular seemed to be rather irate to having to wait the passing of history. She was nearly arrested for her protestations.
Before Firestones time, the property was a working farm, with dairy barn, a pond, and water supplied from a spring channeled from the top of the Southern Rd. ledges (the spring also powered a long gone feed mill that once stood at the bottom of the hill). In the farm’s later years, but before Firestone’s time, the farm was rented to various farm families who ran their dairy herds there until they could afford their own properties. One of these families were the Baumgartners.
Of that family, only one daughter remains local. She believes she recalls that the building was moved there from another nearby farm. She was unaware of its use before they used it, but she said that during the time they were on the farm they used it as their chicken coop.
From the way it is constructed it looks like it may have been originally used as a picnic pravilion, but there is presently no way to determine its original purpose. At the museum the building will most likelyÂ house the Lewis Weaving Mill.